Bags

Why more women are supporting lingerie startups

When Simona Goldin, founder of lingerie startup Bandit, recently fitted a model with
one of the company’s plus-size-friendly bras on a photo shoot, the woman burst into
tears.

“She was 30 years old and realized in that moment she had never had a bra that
actually fit,” she said.”That is a common reaction we get. A lot of women go through
their entire lives thinking being uncomfortable is just the way it’s supposed to
be.”

Bandit, which caters to women who wear large bra sizes, is one of a number of
startups that has emerged in recent years to disrupt the lingerie industry. It joins
the ranks of others working to bring bra-making into the digital age with algorithms
and subscription models, including AdoreMe, ThirdLove, and True&Co, which was sold
to Calvin Klein owner Phillips Van Heusen PVH, +1.63% in March.

There has been a shift in demand in recent years for more accurate sizing and a more
modern experience than that of the traditional department store fitting room,
according to Orit Hashay, the founder of lingerie retailer Brayola. The startup
surveys women on their favorite bra and then uses an algorithm to translate the size
and fit to other brands.”Technology and innovation have reshaped the bra shopping
journey and experience, and the bra industry is being turned upside down,” she said.

The explosion in brands is making a dent on the industry: Women’s bras and underwear
sales reached $12.4 billion in 2016, up 30% from $9.5 billion in 2009, according to
industry-research group Euromonitor. Meanwhile, legacy brands have taken a hit. L
Brands Inc., the parent company to Victoria’s Secret, announced the last 12 weeks of
sales were $2.76 billion, down from $2.89 billion the same time last year. Analysts
attributed the dip in profits in part to a shift in consumers preferring cheaper and
less-padded bralettes. Victoria’s Secret did not reply to request for comment.

Companies like American Eagle Outfitters Inc. AEO, +1.70% and Urban Outfitters Inc
URBN, -2.96% have done more to successfully include the style in their offerings,
according to Marlene Marchewka, founder of brand consultancy Fa├žon Consulting. She
said Aerie, American Eagle’s lingerie brand, has always gone for more natural,
unlined styles compared to the sexy push-up bras offered by Victoria’s Secret.

Shopping for a bra can be”stressful and intimidating,” especially for a plus-sized
woman, Hashay said. With 67% of American women now considered”plus size” by industry
standards, companies such as Nike and H&M that treat plus-size as the norm have
received praise from women’s magazines as a result. (Victoria’s Secret has been
criticized in the past for not offering sizes above XL (size 16) or DDD bra).

Michelle Lam of True&Co said the company collects 140 data points about each woman
through its quiz, which 6 million people have now taken. For instance, it asks
questions about the fit of customers’ existing bras (whether their shoulder straps
are slipping off or too tight, breast shape, and brand of favorite bra). Then it
uses an algorithm to find the best fit of the dozens of styles it offers.

“It resonates with everyone because we all have insecurities, and lingerie is the
bare bones of who we are when we are basically naked,” she said.”It’s not an easy
task to sell something like that – it’s not just about the product, it’s about the
message.”

Enomi Wessman

Hi, Enomi from Los Angeles is here! I'd love to share my thoughts about fashion here! Contact me anytime if you want cooperation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top